Have a much older friend of mine, for some crazy reason he got back into cassette decks. I don't get it either, then again I'm not big on nostalgia or stacking up components but it keeps him off the streets at night!
He purchased an old Teac pro deck which promptly failed and broke belts after a few months--time waits for no cassette deck. I'm the electronics geek so I tore it apart, replaced all the belts, cleaned the heads and got the old dog going. He was looking at a Marantz or Denon Pro deck, really don't matter because they are the same company but very interesting. The Marantz was $500 and pretty but no Dolby noise reduction (obsoleted by Dolby) no dual capstans, no 3 heads or anything.
Did some checking and there is ONE company left on the planet that makes cassette transports in China and all cassette decks use that transport. $30 boombox all the way up to the $500 Marantz all use the same transport, heads and so on.
Once I informed him of that, his choice for performance went out the window so I told him my 30 year old Onkyo would crush anything available now. The old Onk still works, needs some bias adjustment but works well for cassssssssette playback. He pondered his options, once I told him the old Teac was running again that sealed the deal. Don't forget to call that old junk "vintage" kids!
Logic and common sense dictates that, nostalgia only lasts so long so having a company build a new transport, heads, noise reduction system etc. is a business decision. I sure as heck won't buy stock in that company!
Around 5 or 6 years ago, I built up my garage sound system and went a bit overboard with the subwoofers. My CD player would skip during hard bass passages even though it was in a rack on a very heavy bench. Sniffed around for a CD player that had a buffer to prevent skipping and failed. Luckily, I found a used dual-tray club CD player that was used in a studio and the MSRP of $800 fell to a used price of $50. Dual trays, huge buffer, play CDs backwards, samplers and it was two piece so the giant displays on the controller box worked very well. The local teens like to "scratch" with it, make loops and samples and even my cassette loving nostalgia buddy brought over some Beatles song that when played backwards sez "Number 9".
Played Led Zeppelin backwards, no creature of the dark showed up so lied to again! Like the beast, 22 pounds of metal and two transports make it a fun toy to play with although most of the time phones/laptops etc. are fed through the soundcard built into the mixer.
Time does march on and something simple, basic and cheap becomes horrifically expensive once it heads down the obsolete trail. Tube amps used to be cheaper than transistor, record players used to be king, 8 tracks, cassette, CD, DVD and the list goes on. I strongly suspect Class AB will be going obsolete in the next 10 years but I still have my old AB with torrodial PSU and schematics--get off my lawn! Heck, in 10 years we might be "watching TV" wearing glasses as lasers create the images on our retinas--think about it. Might have sound projectors follow your skull and project sound that is correct even as you walk around....never know. Then again, some idiot could mutate a virus and take out 98% of the planet and I'll be stuck in a cave building a victrola with a hand crank and ponder the bass response from a ram's horn the size of a parachute. Bass heads never die...
My advice is to get whatever format you have converted over to a digital storage device for archiving purposes. My CD player will eventtully die as will my BluRay so if it's important, use the CD player to make the transfer. Me? After watching the circus about the latest pandemic, I'll be working on a victrola while sipping a Corona.
May you live in interesting times...